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Headlines for Friday, February 24, 2017

Here's a look at area headlines from the Associated Press

Kansas Legislators Advance Governor's Proposals Toward Votes 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators are advancing Governor Sam Brownback's proposals to raise cigarette and liquor taxes even though they do not think the measures have much support. The House and Senate tax committees on Thursday forwarded separate bills containing Brownback's tax proposals to their chambers without endorsing them. Some lawmakers said it's likely both chambers would reject the measures to send the governor a message. The committees acted a day after Brownback vetoed a bill increasing income taxes. Each committee's bill also includes Brownback's proposals to raise annual business filing fees and restore personal income taxes on so-called passive earnings such as rent and royalties. His proposals would raise $378 million over two years, starting in July. Kansas is facing projected budget shortfalls totaling nearly $1.1 billion through June 2019.

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Medicaid Expansion Clears Kansas House on Final Vote 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House has given final approval to expanding Medicaid, years after many states had already expanded the program. The House on Thursday gave final approval by an 81 to 44 vote. The vote came after a proposal to expand the program was denied votes and floor debate for years. The bill will now move to the Senate for possible consideration. The vote comes as the U.S. Congress considers reforms to the Affordable Care Act, including a possible end to the federal funding for Medicaid expansion. Currently, the federal government funds 94 percent of the cost and will reduce that contribution to 90 percent by 2020. Thirty-one other states have expanded Medicaid.

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Kansas House Advances Bill Aimed at Prevention of Opioid-Related Deaths 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers have advanced a bill that would expand access to drugs that stop opioid overdoses as health care providers and law enforcement officers grapple with a national epidemic. The House gave unanimous first-round approval to the bill Thursday. A final vote of approval would send it to the Senate. The measure would allow first responders to administer the drugs to people experiencing overdose symptoms after taking opioid drugs that include heroin and some prescription drugs. Republican Representative Greg Lakin of Wichita said 47 states allow some type of first responder to administer the drugs. Lakin is a physician who introduced the bill in committee. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999.

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The Latest: Suspect in Bar Shooting Extradited to Kansas 

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) - The Latest on a deadly shooting at a Kansas bar that some witnesses said was racially motivated (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

Three GoFundMe sites started for one man who was killed and two others who were injured at a suburban Kansas City bar have raised a total of more than $670,000. The sites were set up to help pay expenses for Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died in the shooting Wednesday at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe. His friend, Alok Madasani, was wounded. Another man, Ian Grillot, was shot when he tried to stop the gunman. As of Friday afternoon, the site for Kuchibhotla, whose funeral will be in India, had more than $410,000. A second combined campaign for Kuchibhotla and Madasani had close to $61,000 and a third site for Grillot was up to more than $200,000. Adam Purinton is jailed on murder and attempted murder charges. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.
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2:20 p.m.

The wife of a man who was killed in a shooting at a suburban Kansas City bar said she wonders what the U.S. will do to stop hate crimes against minorities. Sunayana Dumala spoke at a news conference Friday organized by Garmin, where her husband, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, worked before he was shot to death Wednesday in an attack at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe that witnesses say could have been racially motivated. Adam Puriton, of Olathe, is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first degree murder in the attack, which also left two men injured. He has not been charged with a hate crime. Dumala says she was concerned about shootings in the U.S. and wondered if they should stay in the country, but her husband said "good things happen in America." She also said reports of bias in the country make minorities afraid of being in the country. She says she wants an answer to one question — "Do we belong here?"
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1:20 p.m.

Phone logs from the Henry County, Missouri, 911 center detail the phone call that led to the arrest of a man charged with fatally shooting a man and wounding two other people in a suburban Kansas City bar. The logs indicate a bartender at an Applebee's in Clinton, Missouri, called the 911 center at 11:37 p.m. Wednesday and said a man in the bar told her he had "done something bad" and was on the run from police for shooting two people in Olathe, Kansas. Adam Purinton was arrested shortly after the bartender placed the call. He is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder in the attack Wednesday night at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe. He was extradited back to Kansas on Friday.
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1:15 p.m.

A man charged with killing an Indian man and wounding two other people at a suburban Kansas City bar has been extradited from Missouri to Kansas. A Johnson County, Kansas, Sheriff's Office spokesman says 51-year-old Adam Purinton of Olathe was moved Friday. Bond is set at $2 million. Purinton is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first degree murder in the attack Wednesday night at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe. Some witnesses said the shooting was racially motivated. Purinton was arrested hours later at a bar in Clinton, Missouri, and waived extradition. His first appearance is scheduled for Monday. An attorney hasn't been formally assigned because Purinton hasn't yet appeared in court in the county.
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12:30 p.m.

A church near a suburban Kansas City bar that was the scene of a deadly shooting is planning a vigil. KCTV-TV reports that the First Baptist Church of Olathe is opening its doors Friday night for employees of Austins Bar and Grill and the community. The church was filled with around 80 children and some parents when shots rang out Wednesday night across the street. Some witnesses said the attack that killed an Indian man and wounded two others was racially motivated. The church went on lockdown before the manhunt ended hours later in Clinton, Missouri, with the arrest of 51-year-old Adam Purinton. He's charged with murder and attempted murder. Pastor Susan Peach says what happened is "a horrible thing" and "beyond what people can process on their own."
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11:40 a.m.

A man who was shot in the chest in a Kansas bar shooting that left an Indian man dead is recovering. A University of Kansas Hospital spokeswoman says 24-year-old Ian Grillot, of Grandview, Missouri, is in fair condition. Grillot told the spokeswoman he still feels very sore after being shot Wednesday while trying to intervene in the attack in Olathe. Some witnesses have said the attack was racially motivated. Grillot said in a recorded interview Thursday that the bullet went through his right hand and into his chest, just missing a major artery but fracturing a vertebra in his neck. Another man hurt in the shooting has been released from the hospital. Fifty-one-year-old Adam Purinton was arrested hours later in Clinton, Missouri. He's charged with murder and attempted murder.
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7:20 a.m.

An Indian man who survived a suburban Kansas City bar shooting that killed his friend and wounded a man who tried to intervene has been released from the hospital. The Kansas City Star reports that 32-year-old Alok Madasani was released Thursday from the University of Kansas Hospital. The Star says 24-year-old Ian Grillot is improving. The hospital hasn't provided an update on his condition Friday morning. The shooting Wednesday night at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, killed 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Witnesses said the shooting was racially motivated. Grillot said in a videotaped interview released by the hospital that he "prayed all night for both of them" but that "unfortunately only one of my prayers were heard." Fifty-one-year-old Adam Purinton is charged with murder and attempted murder in the shooting.

6:40 a.m.

The owner of a suburban Kansas City bar where an Indian man was fatally shot and two other men were wounded says it will do anything it can to support the victims. Owner Brandon Blum wrote on the website for Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas, that the staff's "thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims" of the Wednesday night shooting that some witnesses described as racially motivated. Fifty-one-year-old Adam Purinton was arrested hours later, 70 miles away in Clinton, Missouri, and has been charged with murder and attempted murder. The FBI is helping police investigate. The bar's website said the restaurant is "sorry that this happened on our premises" and that it will be "working diligently, doing anything we can to support and help the parties that were involved." The bar plans to reopen Saturday.

3:45 a.m.

A man accused of shooting three men in a crowded suburban Kansas City bar, killing one man and injuring two others in an attack that some witnesses said was racially motivated, has been charged with murder and attempted murder. Authorities repeatedly declined at a Thursday news conference to say whether the shooting was a hate crime although local police said they were working with the FBI to investigate the case. A bartender at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, said Adam Purinton used "racial slurs" before he started shooting Wednesday night as patrons were watching the University of Kansas-TCU basketball game on television. Police say 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla died at an area hospital. They say 32-year-ol Alok Madasani and 24-year-old Ian Grillot were hospitalized and are in stable condition.

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Shooting of 2 Indian Nationals in Kansas Bar Shocks Hometowns

HYDERABAD, India (AP) - The shooting of two Indians in a crowded suburban Kansas City bar has sent shock waves through their hometowns and India's government is rushing diplomats to monitor progress in investigation into the crime. Jaganmohan Reddy, father of an engineer who was injured in the shooting incident on Wednesday night, says he thinks it's a hate crime. He says such incidents have increased after the recent political changes in the United States. India's External Affairs Ministry spokesman says another Indian engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was fatally shot in the attack, hailed from Hyderabad, the capital of southern Telangana state. The suspected attacker, Adam Purinton, has been taken into custody and charged on Thursday with murder and attempted murder.

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Kansas Bar Shooter Had Served in Navy

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A man suspected of killing an Indian man and wounding two other people at a suburban Kansas City bar served in the Navy. A Navy official could provide no other details about 51-year-old Adam Purinton's service because the records are old. The official was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Purinton is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first degree murder in the attack Wednesday night at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe that some witnesses said was racially motivated. Kansas voter records show Purinton is registered at an Olathe, Kansas, address within blocks of a manufacturing plant operated by GPS-maker Garmin. LinkedIn accounts say the two Indian men who were shot worked at Garmin. Lolita Baldor in Washington, D.C., contributed to this item.

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3 Mumps Cases Confirmed at Kansas High School 

COLBY, Kan. (AP) — Three Colby High School students have been confirmed with cases of mumps. Thomas County Health Department administrator Emily Strange says the Thomas County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed the first case Monday. The Salina-Journal reports two more cases were confirmed Tuesday. Strange says the departments are working to find where the students contracted the illness. Strange said outbreaks of mumps, a contagious disease caused by a virus, were ongoing in Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. In Kansas, five cases were reported in Crawford County earlier this month. A possible case was also reported last week at Great Bend High School. Dr. John Dygert, Thomas County Health Department health officer, says a vaccination is the best way to reduce chances of getting mumps. Most people with mumps recover in a few weeks.

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KU Basketball Star Jackson Charged with Criminal Damage 

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Jayhawks star freshman Josh Jackson has been charged with misdemeanor criminal damage after allegedly vandalizing a woman's car outside a Lawrence bar. A press release from the district attorney's office says police responded to a report December 9. The case against Jackson was filed in Douglas County District Court on Friday. The release says witnesses told investigators that Jackson had kicked a door and rear taillight during an argument with the owner of the car. About $1,200 of damage was done to the door and taillight. Damage exceeding $1,000 can be charged as a felony, but the release says Jackson was charged with a misdemeanor because the state couldn't prove he was responsible for all the damage.

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18 Counties Hit by Ice in January to Get Federal Aid 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Eighteen Kansas counties affected by a severe ice storm in January will receive federal disaster aid. The Kansas Adjutant General's office announced Friday that President Donald Trump has granted Governor Sam Brownback's request for the disaster declaration. The 18 counties were hit by ice January 13-16. Counties eligible for aid are Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Ellsworth, Ford, Hodgeman, Jewell, Kiowa, Meade, Ness, Pawnee, Pratt, Rush, Seward, Sheridan, Stafford, and Trego. More counties might be added at a later date. The declaration allows county governments to apply for funds for emergency work and to help repair or replace facilities damaged by the ice storm. It also activates a grant program statewide that seeks to prevent or reduce long term risk to life and property from natural hazards.

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Kansas City Minimum Wage Question on August Ballot 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City residents will vote in August on whether to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Kansas City Council agreed Thursday to comply with a Missouri Supreme Court order and put the petition initiative on the August 8 ballot. The Kansas City Star reports the proposal would increase the current $7.70 minimum wage to $10 per hour by September 1 and gradually to $15 per hour by 2022. The initiative is backed by civil rights activists, urban core ministers and other social justice advocates. The Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association and many business groups oppose the measure. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in January that because petitioners gathered enough signatures, their measure should go to Kansas City voters. It could face legal challenges if it passes.

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Kansas Hopes to Extradite Con Man Who Scammed Woman

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — Police say a man stole an Ohio woman's credit card and abandoned her after he used online posts to lure her to Maine.  The Portland Press Herald reports that it's the second time the 45-year-old James A. Stone of Biddeford has used social media and online dating sites to meet women, lure them to Maine and then take their cash and credit cards.  Police say the 46-year-old Ohio woman came to Maine with her three children and in a Wednesday 911 call said she hadn't seen her boyfriend after dropping him off at a bank.  Police say they arrested Stone, who had outstanding warrants from Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Kansas.  Stone, who has been jailed, is awaiting extradition to Kansas. It wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer.

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Woman in Custody in Central Kansas Triple Shooting 

NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — A woman is in custody in Harvey County in a shooting that left four people dead, including the gunman. Harvey County authorities say a 42-year-old Newton woman was arrested for conspiracy to commit capital murder but formal charges are pending. Three victims were found dead early Thursday inside a home in Newton. A suspect, 33-year-old David Lee Montano, of Newton, fled from the home on foot. He confronted officers with a shotgun during the pursuit and was shot to death by a Newton police officer. Harvey County Attorney David Yoder said Friday the shootings appeared to be a domestic situation, rather than drug-related. Yoder also said Montano was facing federal charges in a separate case but that case apparently was not related to Thursday's shooting.

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Officer Shoots Suspect in Central Kansas Triple Homicide 

NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — A central Kansas sheriff says a suspect who gunned down three other men in a home before being fatally shot by a police officer apparently targeted his victims. Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay didn't elaborate about the slayings he called "very much a targeted thing" early Thursday in Newton, about 25 miles north of Wichita. The names of the dead, a possible motive and the relationship between the shooter and victims weren't released. Authorities said officers responding to reports of a shooting found three bodies in a home, and that three witnesses pointed officers in the direction the suspect ran. Sheriff's officials say the suspect confronted the officers with a shotgun, and one of the officers shot him. The suspect was pronounced dead at a hospital. No officers were injured.

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No Charges in Sexual Assault Report at KU Fraternity

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Douglas County District Attorney will not file charges after a sexual assault allegation prompted the University of Kansas to place the Kappa Sigma fraternity on probation in 2014. District Attorney Charles Branson says his office found no evidence an assault occurred at the fraternity in September 2014. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Lawrence police continue to investigate a second alleged sex crime at the fraternity that was also reported in September 2014. The university placed Kappa Sigma on two years' probation after its investigation in fall 2014. The fraternity completed probation in December 2016. Kansas officials said the fraternity violated the university's student code's sections on sexual harassment, endangering others and organizational responsibility but didn't offer details of the violations.

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Kansas Man Accused in Bomb Plot Feared Social Collapse 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A lawyer for a Kansas man accused of plotting to attack Somali refugees says his client believed then President Barack Obama would declare martial law and not recognize the validity of the election if Donald Trump won — forcing militias to step in. The defense claim of a "self-defensive posture" surfaced during a detention hearing Friday for Patrick Stein, whom prosecutors say was the leader of militia group called "The Crusaders." U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren did not immediately rule. But attorney Ed Robinson offered a glimpse Stein's mistaken views that the election would end with social collapse and violence regardless of who won. Prosecutors allege Stein and others plotted to detonate truck bombs the day after the election at an apartment complex where 120 Somali immigrants live in western Kansas.

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Extremely Critical Wildfire Alert Issued for Southwest, Including Kansas

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) — Firefighters in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are bracing for a busy day as unseasonably warm temperatures, gusty winds and low humidity are expected to create dangerous wildfire conditions.  Critical fire conditions are also expected throughout Oklahoma, western Kansas and southeastern Colorado, and forecasters have issued red flag warnings discouraging any outdoor burning.  The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, says "extremely critical" fire conditions are expected Thursday in eastern New Mexico, western Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. The risk area covers 117,000 square miles and includes the cities of Roswell, New Mexico, and Lubbock and Amarillo in Texas.  Forecasters say some areas could see temperatures in the 70s and 80s and wind gusts up to 65 mph.

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Man Charged in Wichita City Hall Bomb Threat Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been charged with calling in a bomb threat to the Wichita City Hall last week. The Wichita Eagle reports that 42-year-old Joseph Cavender made his first appearance Wednesday in Sedgwick County District Court on the felony criminal threat charge. He is jailed in Sedgwick County on $50,000 bond. Cavender was arrested Saturday after a Wichita police officer realized the phone number Cavender gave him as a witness to an unrelated disturbance call was the same as the one used to make the threat Friday morning. The threat indicated that a bomb had been placed at the government building. Public defender Mark Rudy said he hadn't had a chance to review the case.

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KU Basketball Guard Graham Apologizes After Traffic Warrant Arrest

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas University guard Devonte Graham was arrested on a traffic-related warrant hours after helping the third-ranked Jayhawks to a record-tying 13th consecutive Big 12 Conference title with a win over TCU. The school says Graham was arrested Wednesday night for failing to appear in court last July after being ticketed for driving with an expired license plate. He was free on bond. Graham said Thursday that he was driving an ex-teammate's car and thought the ticket had been paid, leading to what he calls his "inattention" to a notice he received requiring him to appear in court. Graham says he "learned a lesson the hard way," and that he's sorry. Kansas coach Bill Self says Graham made a mistake. Kansas next plays Saturday at Texas.

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Police: Man Meets Woman Online, Steals Her Credit Card 

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — Police say a man stole an Ohio woman's credit card and abandoned her after he used online posts to lure her to Maine. The Portland Press Herald reports that it's the second time the 45-year-old James A. Stone of Biddeford has used social media and online dating sites to meet women, lure them to Maine and then take their cash and credit cards. Police say the 46-year-old Ohio woman came to Maine with her three children and in a Wednesday 911 call said she hadn't seen her boyfriend after dropping him off at a bank. Police say they arrested Stone, who had outstanding warrants from Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Kansas. Stone, who has been jailed, is awaiting extradition to Kansas. It wasn't immediately known if he had a lawyer. 

 

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